Money Management Articles
Have you attained your American Dream?
The Minnesota Society of CPAs (MNCPA) offers some perspective and a few
practical tips you can use to try to turn your situation around.
Preventing financial infidelity in your relationship
The recent Ashley Madison hack may have revealed some interesting things
about extramarital affairs. However, there are far less obvious forms
of infidelity that can be equally damaging to a relationship, one of
which is financial infidelity.
Budget-friendly travel tips
About 99 million Americans traveled at least 50 miles from home during
the last holiday season, according to the American Automobile
Be a smart shopper for the holidays
In past years, Americans' holiday spending has averaged around $700,
for a total of $465 billion, according to the National Retail
Federation. Get budget tips for this year.
Start planning your summer vacation today
It's never too early to start thinking about warm weather, a cruise in
the boat or a hike up a mountain. December is the perfect time to think
about the money you'll need to meet your summer vacation needs --
especially with your wallets likely wedged open for holiday shopping.
Five things to know about home insurance coverage
What would happen if your home was damaged or broken into? Average
insurance claims range from about $3,600 for theft to just more than
$37,000 for fire or lightning damage, according to ISO, a Verisk
Analytics company. When you're making decisions about your home
insurance coverage, the Minnesota Society of Certified Public
Accountants (MNCPA) recommends keeping this advice in mind.
Aging in place: Four questions to consider
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention define "aging in place"
as being able to live in one's home and community safely, independently
and comfortably, regardless of age, income or ability level.
Why not try wearable technology on for size?
Is wearable technology going to be around for a while? It's certainly gaining more traction and popularity each day.
Make sure you've got the right approach to charitable giving this holiday season
Make sure you're prepared for the holiday season of giving, not only for
your protection, but also so you can get the proper tax benefits from
Protect your loved ones by learning life insurance basics
When you think about life insurance, you may dismiss it as something
only older people need. At its very basic, a life insurance policy is
taken out on someone's life that pays out when the insured dies, helping
to financially protect dependents and loved ones.
Tax considerations (and advantages) for small businesses
Are you thinking of launching your own business? Approximately 800,000
new businesses open each year, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics
data. When these young companies get started, it's critical for their
owners to understand the many rules and regulations that apply to them.
Back to work after retirement: How Social Security, taxes and health care may be affected
The old notions about retirement have, well, retired. Rather than
leaving work at 65 and going fishing or focusing on gardening, many
retirees are celebrating retirement by going back to work.
Tax credits that can help lower college costs
Are you looking for ways to minimize the costs of higher education? The
average cost of tuition and fees for a four-year college education can
range from about $40,000 for in-state students at a public college to
nearly $135,000 at a private one, according to College Board data.
Fortunately, there are some tax laws that can help lower your outlays.
Coping with overlooked college expenses
The Minnesota Society of CPAs (MNCPA) highlights some of the unexpected
charges you should anticipate and offers advice on ways to deal with
Three things to know about reverse mortgages
One of the retirement planning resources that has gained interest in
recent years is the reverse mortgage. A reverse mortgage allows you to
convert part of the equity in your home into cash without paying
additional monthly bills. If you're 62 or older -- and want money to pay
off your mortgage, or pay for other expenses -- you may consider a
Small business owners beware: Not reporting income paid to vendors can be costly
If you are a small-business owner, know that you, too, must send 1099s
to nonemployees paid in the course of doing business. The Minnesota
Society of CPAs (MNCPA) warns that many small-business owners do not
understand the requirements for issuing 1099s, and they can receive
hefty fines and costly IRS audits if not complied with properly.
5 steps to boost your home's value
If you're planning on putting your house on the market, you'll want to
get the best price possible. There are steps you can take to enhance how
much you make on the sale, according to the Minnesota Society of CPAs
Business or hobby? Why the difference matters
Were you aware that there are tax implications when you earn money from a
hobby? If not, or if you're unsure of all the rules, the Minnesota
Society of CPAs (MNCPA) offers these insights on why the distinctions
between hobbies and businesses matter and what you need to know if your
hobby becomes a business.
Finding ways to cut your phone budget
When looking for ways to save, consider rethinking your phone bills. The
Minnesota Society of CPAs (MNCPA) offers this advice on how to become a
savvy consumer when it comes to budgeting your phone service.
Being financially prepared for college
Many parents consider sending a child to college an important financial
objective. The College Board reports for a public in-state four-year
college, the average tuition for 2014-15 was $9,139. If room and board
was included, the average annual education cost was $18,942.
Don't fight over finances!
When couples argue, what are they most likely to fight about? You might
not be surprised to learn that, according to a Harris Interactive survey
on behalf of the American Institute of CPAs, money is the top reason
for a marital spat, one that causes disagreements far more frequently
than other critical issues.
Get out of debt (and stay out)
On average, American households have about $15,000 of credit card debt,
according to NerdWallet. If you're struggling to pay off your
outstanding balances, or if you're tired of high interest costs, the
Minnesota Society of CPAs (MNCPA) explains the best ways to get out from
under those bills.
Who's teaching your kids about money?
If you think your children aren't learning about money because you're
not teaching it, think again. While savvy marketers are telling our
kindergartners that they need a certain toy to be happy, credit card
companies are peddling instant gratification to our teens.
5 tips to quickly pay off student loan debt
Struggling with student loans? You're not alone.
Fraud prevention for seniors
While seniors make up 11 percent of the population, they represent 30
percent of consumer fraud and 50 percent of telephone fraud. The
Minnesota Society of CPAs (MNCPA) offers the following fraud prevention
tips for seniors.
Don't let unexpected costs ruin your retirement!
How much do you need to save for retirement? Determining how much you'll
spend on housing, food and other fixed expenses may seem relatively
easy, but how about the costs that come out of the blue?
Resolving financial concerns for stepfamilies
Roughly 1,300 new stepfamilies are created every day, according to the
Stepfamily Foundation. And, 41 percent of all Americans have at least
one step relative, based on Pew Research Center findings.
IRA early withdrawal exceptions
Choosing an early withdrawal from your IRA can be a costly move, often
resulting in unfavorable consequences such as tax penalties and loss of
Planning for retirement has many taxing issues
Individuals today have much greater responsibility in funding their
retirement plans -- a responsibility that can become overwhelming as the
life expectancy continues to climb.
10 ways to maximize Social Security benefits
For most Americans, Social Security retirement benefits typically
represent 30 to 60 percent of their retirement income and, yet,
according to the National Social Security Association,,LLC, more than 90
percent of Social Security recipients receive less money than to which
they are entitled.
Answers to tax questions for the self-employed
Will 2015 be the year when you take the leap into self-employment? Even
if you're going to start out small with an office in a spare bedroom,
there are some important tax issues you should keep in mind before you
take the plunge.
Tax solutions for baby boomers
The baby boom generation, the children born in the post-World War II
years between 1946 and 1964, includes about 76 million people. Now that
generation is heading into retirement, with roughly 10,000 boomers
expected to retire every day between now and 2030.
Four last-minute tips to lower your taxes
Now that the New Year has begun, April 15 will be here before you know
it. Have you done all you can to minimize your tax payments and maximize
prudent financial planning? If you're not sure, there's still time to
make some smart choices before you file this year's tax return.
5 financial mistakes to avoid this year
Are you satisfied with the financial decisions you made in 2014? If
you're not so sure, this is a good time to resolve to make some changes
Beware before you buy: 6 considerations for kids' cell phones
Have your kids started asking for cell phones or mobile devices of
their own? Usage of mobile devices is growing among the younger set. In
fact, 45 percent of parents say they have already purchased or plan to
purchase mobile devices for their kids.
How to give wisely during the holidays and beyond
Have the holidays made you feel more generous? Nonprofit organizations
report receiving 41 percent of their donations between Thanksgiving and
New Year's each year, according to Charity Navigator, and their overall
charitable contributions are significant.
What you should know about timeshares
Now that the holidays are upon us, many people dream of taking a
tropical vacation or spending time near a popular attraction. If you're
shopping for a getaway, you may have considered a timeshare, an
arrangement that generally gives you the right to stay at a certain
property for a specified amount of time each year.
Low or no-cost gift ideas
With costs expected to rise this year, the MNCPA is offering shoppers some tips for saving money on gifts while still making the holidays memorable.
College and taxes: MNCPA outlines the importance of determining who takes the dependency deduction -- parent or student?
If you or a member of your household is a college student or returned to
school for additional training in the past year, there are important tax
considerations to discuss with your CPA as you organize your state and
federal income tax return information for 2014, advises the Minnesota
Society of Certified Public Accountants (MNCPA).
Are you ready for Black Friday, Cyber Monday and new credit cards with chips?
If you are like many holiday shoppers, Black Friday and Cyber Monday
may be when you buy your gifts. According to the National Retail
Federation, U.S. Black Friday retail sales for 2013 totaled $57 billion,
down from $59 billion in 2012. For 2013, this averaged to $407 per
person in spending.
How to handle an unexpected job loss
Nowadays, when it comes to longevity within the workplace, nothing is
guaranteed. How do you prepare if faced with an unexpected job loss?
What is your plan B? Consider these five tips for preparing and coping
with your financial loss.
Don't make these common IRA mistakes!
About 40 percent of U.S. households -- nearly 50 million -- own
individual retirement accounts, which provide tax-advantaged options for
saving for your retirement years. The Minnesota Society of CPAs (MNCPA)
offers the following tips on how to avoid some common mistakes people
make when managing IRAs.
Five disaster planning steps for small businesses
Could your business bounce back if a disaster occurred? A minimum of 25
percent of small to midsize businesses that close temporarily due to a
natural or other disaster ultimately never open their doors again,
according to the Institute for Business and Home Safety. It is possible
to weather any type of business interruption, however, only if you're
Year-end tax planning for 2014
Where has the time gone? We are approaching the final months of 2014,
but, before you start thinking about holiday shopping, consider year-end
tax planning and preparation. With proper tax planning, you can
maximize your potential tax savings and minimize your tax liability.
Medical coverage while traveling overseas
While the summer vacation season has passed, thousands of people travel
overseas each day for business, school or pleasure. However, few
consider that their medical insurance coverage might be less than
expected or, even worse, nonexistent.
Financing a return to college
You’ve advanced on the job, but you think that finishing or enhancing your college degree would help you go further.
Financial fitness advice for freshmen
As you get ready to go away to college for the first time, this is a
good time to expand your knowledge of day-to-day money management,
including smart budgeting and debt management steps.
9 ways to trim your back-to-school budget
The National Retail Federation predicts combined spending for back to
school and college is expected to reach $74.9 billion, or $669.28 per
family on apparel, shoes, supplies and electronics, an increase of 5
percent from last year.
Your midyear financial tune up
Did you start the beginning of the year by making smart resolutions to
get your finances in order? Now that the year is half over, it's a good
time to check in and see how you're doing.
Tips for starting a small business
The 23 million small businesses in this country are responsible for 54
percent of all U.S. sales, according to the U.S. Small Business
Administration (SBA). Do you ever dream of launching your own company?
If you do, the Minnesota Society of CPAs offers this advice to help you
get off on the right foot.
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